Fusion Protein of RBP and Albumin Domain III Reduces Lung Fibrosis by Inactivating Lung Stellate Cells

Jaeho Choi, Yuna Son, Ji Wook Moon, Dae Won Park, Young Sik Kim, Junseo Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Activated stellate cells play a role in fibrosis development in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. The fusion protein R-III, which consists of retinol-binding protein and albumin domain III, has been demonstrated to attenuate liver and renal fibrosis by suppressing stellate cell activation. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of R-III against bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice. R-III reduced lung fibrosis and primarily localized in autofluorescent cells in the lung tissue. Furthermore, we isolated lung stellate cells (LSCs) from rat lungs using the isolation protocol employed for hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). LSCs shared many characteristics with HSCs, including the presence of vitamin A-containing lipid droplets and the expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin and collagen type I, markers for activated HSCs/myofibroblasts. LSCs spontaneously transdifferentiated into myofibroblasts in in vitro culture, which was inhibited by R-III. These findings suggest that R-III may reduce lung fibrosis by inactivating LSCs and could be a promising treatment for extrahepatic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2007
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jul
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • R-III
  • lung fibrosis
  • stellate cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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